When you eat, your body breaks down foods into glucose and uses it for energy. The hormone, insulin, is produced by your pancreas to help muscles, fat, and other cells absorb glucose for fuel. During pregnancy, your body naturally becomes more resistant to insulin, which means more glucose remains in your blood because it isn’t being absorbed. For most moms, this works just like it is supposed to. Even though your body is more resistant to insulin and higher glucose levels are in your blood, your pancreas reacts by producing more insulin, which is what it is supposed to do. The problem comes in when your pancreas can’t keep up with the high demand for additional insulin, and more glucose builds up in your blood. Insulin doesn’t cross the placenta, but glucose does. Too much glucose in your blood that isn’t being absorbed and used as energy is going to your baby. The extra glucose your baby doesn’t need ends up being stored as fat. There are many risks to both you and your baby when you have gestational diabetes. This episode breaks down gestational diabetes, testing, treatment, risks, and exactly how this affects you and your baby.
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